As WallStFolly notes, today the New York Stock Exchange turns 214-years-young. Dealbook provides a whole host of relevant links. Us? We're going out and celebrating the birthday by raising a glass and toasting the original intentions of the founders of the NYSE--keeping the outsiders out and making lots of money for the insiders.
As the legendary Buttonwood Agreement put it:
We the Subscribers, Brokers for the Purchase and Sale of Public Stock, do hereby solemnly promise and pledge ourselves to each other, that we will not buy or sell from this day for any person whatsoever, any kind of Public Stock, at a less rate than one quarter per cent Commission on the Specie value and that we will give a preference to each other in our Negotiations.